We lit up our building in red and white, the colours of the Belarusian flag on Wednesday evening, joining cultural buildings across Europe to show solidarity with the people of Belarus.

Theatre workers and other artists have been a prominent part of the long fight for democracy in Belarus, and they find themselves in a new and frightening crisis as thousands of people have taken to the street to protest against what they believe to be false elections.

Many have been imprisoned for expressing their views, including members of Belarus Free Theatre who for many years now have been courageously defending their freedoms through the making of theatre, often in exile from their home country. 

The Tower lit up in the colours of the flag of Belarus.

Our Artistic Director Gregory Doran and Deputy Artistic Director Erica Whyman said: “In these times of extraordinary change and challenge, it is more important than ever that artists have the right to speak and the freedom to imagine a hopeful future. 

“The long battle in Belarus for freedom and democracy has reached a new crisis and we stand in solidarity with fellow theatre workers, and with all arts and cultural organisations who are speaking out so courageously to defend their democratic rights. The inventive and tenacious work of the Belarus Free Theatre has been an inspiration to both of us over many years. We are lighting our building tonight because we are proud to #StandWithBelarus.”

Find out more about Belarus Free Theatre at the Guardian.